New York Business Lawyers

Alternate Source of Stock Photography for a New York or Other Business with Caveats

by / Sunday, 25 April 2010 / Published in Startup & Corporate

Alternate Source for Photos for New York Business

Many startups or other businesses on a lean budget often fall prey to the temptation to “lift” photos from the net in order to add visuals to web sites or corporate collateral. There are a variety of reasons why this approach is not only potentially unlawful but counter productive: 1) The photo/images maybe copyrighted; 2) They will be of too small a resolution to provide you a professional look.  So with such photos your business risks a cease and desist letter and/or a low rent look.

Creative Commons and its attribution license may be the answer to your quandary.  Flickr actually has a massive crowd sourced library of royalty free photos in high resolution that a business may leverage (provided credit to the photographer is made reasonably apparent).

However, there are caveats. You should be wise and not make use of photos that clearly feature third party trademarks or copyrighted photos, designs, etc. since there is no way of knowing whether the original photographer had the rights to those items.  Also, stay away from photos of people, that may expose you to so called right of publicity claims as neither you nor the original photographer may have the right to use the likeness of the people in the photos.  So in other words, exercise caution and common sense.  And if your budget can sustain it, explore using actual commercially licensed photography.

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